“Raising the bar!   2018 marks the 6th GIN Wide Open and based on the number of applicants over the last couple of years, it is now the most popular paragliding competition in the world!  I know that’s quite something to live up to, but I’m convinced that with this year’s venue and organisation team, we’ll once again be raising the bar.

I myself started competing about 15 years ago.  Competing taught me more about XC flying than any trip ever could; and whilst it was an incredibly educational experience, the atmosphere could sometimes be tense (some pilots can get very competitive!)  I wanted to create something new: a competition environment where the emphasis was less about the results and much more focussed on fun and learning.  It’s proved to be an immensely popular concept.

More an event than a competition: The GWO has grown from its early days into much more than a paragliding competition.  Indeed, with the daily talks, briefings and de-briefings, not to mention the parties and prizes, it’s really much more of an event than a competition.

The GWO is less about flying the latest hot ships and more about flying achievable tasks.  Whilst the parameters for many competitions mean that tasks are set with the objective to have only 20% of the pilots in goal, at the GWO we’d really like as many pilots in goal as possible (90% on a 50km task is not unheard of!).  Rather than setting tasks so challenging that only the two-liner-gang have a chance of making it, we set tasks with you in mind.  That means that even if you’re flying an EN-A glider you stand a good chance of making it!

More about having fun:  The GWO is designed to be stress-free.  That’s why we have lots of marshals on launch to help, a selection of the friendliest and most approachable top GIN pilots, an emphasis on safety. Everything taken care of!  All you need to do is concentrate on flying and having fun.

At the GWO we emphasise fun and learning.  That’s why we have lectures on things like how to use your GPS, and before each and every task we’ll be sharing all the local knowledge to give you every chance of completing the task.  At the end of each day, we’ll also have in-depth task debriefs so you can learn even more.

It’s nothing to do with your results!   It’s well-known that the prizes at the GWO are bigger and better than any other paragliding competition, but what makes this competition so extraordinary is how they are dished out.  It’s nothing to do with your results!  By just participating, you’ll have the same chance of winning a wing, a harness, a new reserve, a GPS, a holiday etc. as any other pilot.

Even if “competing” is not your thing, if you’re looking for a fun-filled and relaxed week with lots of flying, an emphasis on safety and ample opportunity to learn from some of the best pilots in the world, not to mention a great social environment, this could be your ideal flying week.

Once again, this year we’ve got some big parties planned so no matter how well you fly (or don’t) you can “swing your pants” into the early hours!  After all, this is THE fun comp!”

 – Toby Colombé  (GWO founder and Meet Director)

More about the GIN Wide Open


The concept for the GIN Wide Open came about as a result of a campfire discussion between Toby Colombé (Passion Paragliding) and Brett Janaway (xTc-paragliding) back in 2012.  The first GWO in 2013 was held in Meduno, Italy; then in 2014, Ager; in 2015, Tolmin; in 2016, Saint Jean Montclar; and 2017 Macedonia.  GIN have been the main sponsor from the start, supporting the event, not only with prizes, but also by sending their top team pilots to lend a hand – and inspire!

Number of participants:  125 pilots from all over the world

Entry fee:   280Euros includes seven days of potential flying, with transport and retrieves, Live-Tracking, T-shirt, talks and de-briefs, two parties with food,  daily lunch packs, plenty of chances to win lots of prizes throughout the event and entrance to the legendary GIN Wide Open Prize Draw.

FAI Cat 2 Event: The GWO is an FAI Cat2 sanctioned event and will be run accordingly. All pilots must comply with the appropriate rules.

Pilot Registration and Selection:  Registration for the GWO will be open from 1300GMT on Saturday 10th February.  On February 20th the selection process will begin and the organisers will inform successful applicants as soon as possible thereafter.  Pilots selected in the first round will be required to pay their deposit by the end of February to secure their place.  On 1st March we will start the second round of selection where some lucky pilots on the waiting list will be selected.  All communications will be by email.